Liberty County chairman bonded out of jail, accused of stealing $33,000 from CARES Act

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Saturday, December 10, 2022
$33K allegedly stolen by Liberty Co. chairman from CARES Act
Klint Bush was arrested Thursday but has bonded out of jail. The charges center around $33,000 that the local district attorney claims were stolen from the CARES Act.

LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A member of the Liberty County Housing Authority Board is out on bond after being accused of stealing thousands of federal dollars.

Klint Bush was arrested Thursday after search warrants were executed at his home and the Liberty County Housing Authority office.

Both locations were raided by the Texas Rangers, who are part of the months-long investigation that was started when someone tipped off authorities last fall. Details are slim on what exactly they were looking for.

SEE PREVIOUS STORY: Liberty County housing authority chairman arrested, records show

Records show Bush is charged with theft of property and abuse of official capacity.

The charges center around $33,000 that the local district attorney claims was stolen from the CARES Act.

An affidavit obtained from the Liberty County District Clerk's Office alleges that Bush used his role as board chairman of the Liberty County Housing Authority to send those federal dollars to businesses that didn't actually exist - they were only bank accounts operating under names such as "County Healthcare."

Once the acquaintances who ran those accounts received the checks, they would allegedly fulfill Bush's requests to send the money back to an account he had set up under the name Liberty County Housing Council.

Those individuals haven't been charged at this point, as the affidavit states they assumed the Liberty County Housing Council was affiliated with the Liberty County Housing Authority.

There is no affiliation between the two.

The Liberty County DA's office held a press conference Friday morning to address Bush's arrest.

"The result of the investigation were the two search warrants - one at the home of Bush and the second at the Liberty County Housing Authority that were executed simultaneously," Honorable Jennifer L. Bergman said.

Investigators from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General were also involved.

ABC13 also learned Bush is connected with two other county departments - The Emergency Services for District 7 and he is also the county's election administrator.

Both entities declined to comment on this situation.

The DA said the investigation is ongoing and it's unclear if those departments are involved.

Attorney Michelle Mangum-Merendino speaking for Bush, said he did not take any money.

"As she explained, these are accounting issues. At the end of the day, what will be discovered is that Mr. Bush obtained and maintained absolutely zero benefit from any of this," Mangum-Merendino said.

Bush has bonded out of jail. ABC13 has reached for a comment on the charges, but there has been no response.

SEE ALSO: Houston City Council member questions city's CARES Act spending